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5 underrated movies on Netflix you need to watch in December

by Contributor

With only one month remaining in 2023, Netflix is releasing a series of high-profile movies that will likely join the list of the most popular movies on the service. Todd Haynes’ May December and Bradley Cooper’s Maestro will be major players this awards season, especially at the Oscars. On the blockbuster side, Zack Snyder returns with the space opera Rebel Moon, his first film in two years.

There are thousands of movies to watch on Netflix besides the new releases. Many of these movies are quite good, but they can be underseen because of their placement on the homepage. For December, we curated a list of five underrated movies on Netflix you need to watch. Our selections include a 1990s-style action movie, a war thriller, and a gritty cop drama.

Hunter Killer (2018)

Lionsgate

No actor is more committed to keeping the spirit of 1990s action movies alive than Gerard Butler. From Olympus Has Fallen and Den of Thieves to Greenland and Plane, Butler has carved out a role for himself as a reliable B-movie action star. Add Hunter Killer, 2018’s submarine thriller, to Butler’s résumé of underappreciated action films.

When an American submarine, the USS Tampa Bay, disappears in the Arctic Ocean while following a Russian submarine, Captain Joe Glass (Butler) of the USS Arkansas is sent to investigate. Thanks to intel from Navy SEALs, Glass learns that a Russian coup d’état has been triggered, with the rebels kidnapping Russian President Zakarin (Alexander Diachenko). To prevent World War III, Glass must assemble a team to go behind enemy lines and save the Russian president.

Stream Hunter Killer on Netflix.

Cop Land (1997)

A bloody police officer is held by an investigator.
Miramax Films

In his second feature, Logan‘s James Mangold assembled a quartet of terrific actors – Sylvester Stallone, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, and Robert De Niro – to star in the gritty crime drama Cop Land. Freddy Heflin (Stallone) is the sheriff of Garrison, New Jersey, a small town across the Hudson River from New York City where a group of corrupt NYPD cops call home. Due to a loophole, these cops can live in New Jersey and work in New York.

After a young cop nicknamed Superboy (Michael Rapaport) is involved in a racially motivated shooting, his uncle, police Lt. Ray Donlan, (Keitel) tries to cover it up by faking his nephew’s death. This puts Donlan and his crew on the radar of Internal Affairs officer Moe Tilden (De Niro), who seeks help from Freddy to end the rampant corruption. The scandal rocks Garrison, and it’s up to Freddy to bring order to his town.

Stream Cop Land on Netflix.

The Outpost (2020)

A U.S. solider crouches behind a military vehicle.
Screen Media Films

Set during the Afghanistan war in 2006, The Outpost tells the true story of the brave soldiers at Camp Keating, a U.S. Army outpost in Northern Afghanistan. The outpost was subject to attacks by the Taliban because of its location in a valley surrounded by mountains. However, nothing could have prepared the soldiers for what would happen on one fateful October morning when 400 Taliban fighters surrounded Camp Keating.

The outpost contains 53 U.S. soldiers, including Staff Sgt. Clint Romesha (Fast X‘s Scott Eastwood) and Specialist Ty Michael Carter (Caleb Landry Jones), and two Latvian military advisors. With little ammo and firepower, these brave soldiers band together to fight back against the Taliban and defend their outpost at all costs.

Stream The Outpost on Netflix.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019)

Two men sit down next to each other.
A24

The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Joe Talbot’s terrific directorial debut, is partly based on the life of Jimmie Fails, who stars as himself. Jimmie is a third-generation black man struggling to make a living in San Francisco. Jimmie lives with his best friend, Mont (Lovecraft Country’s Jonathan Majors), and Mont’s grandfather. Jimmie longs to reclaim a Victorian house in the city’s Fillmore District that his grandfather built.

However, the house is currently occupied by an elderly white couple. Undeterred, Jimmie hangs out around the house, making necessary repairs to improve its condition. When the house eventually could be up for sale, Jimmie and Mont work together to reclaim the house, which Jimmie believes is his last tie to a changing city.

Stream The Last Black Man in San Francisco on Netflix.

The Silencing (2020)

A man sits in his truck and stares.
Saban Films

In one of his first post-Game of Thrones roles, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau stars as a tormented hunter who discovers a serial killer’s reign of terror in The Silencing. Rayburn Swanson runs the Gwen Swanson Sanctuary, a wildlife preserve named after his daughter ,Gwen, who went missing five years earlier. While at the sanctuary, Rayburn notices a man in a ghillie suit hunting in the woods. Upon approaching him, the mysterious man wounds Rayburn with a spear.

Rayburn escapes to his home and sees the man hunting a girl in the woods, leading him to believe the disguised man kidnapped his girl years prior. Meanwhile, Sheriff Alice Gustafson (Annabelle Wallis) is investigating the murder of a young girl found in a lake and believes her murderer could be the man in the ghillie suit.

Stream The Silencing on Netflix.

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